Peru Amazon Cruise
A luxury cruise aboard the Aria transports you into the Pacaya Samiria Reserve (Reserva Nacional Pacaya Samiria), located deep within the Amazon rainforest at the headwaters of the Amazon River basin.
Pacaya Samiria is one of Peru’s most well preserved havens for Amazon wildlife, plants and birding. Because we can only access Pacaya Samiria by water, you will become one of only a handful of seasoned world travelers ever to have reached this remote, remarkably beautiful destination on the Amazon River.
The ship’s route takes us to Pacaya Samiria Reserve and we enter the Amazon jungle and a world filled with birds adorned in neon-brilliant colors, playful Amazon monkeys, graceful hawks and herons and millions of butterflies. Aboard the Aria as well as on short excursions, you will have the opportunity to see hundreds of species of Amazon wildlife, including the endangered pink Amazon dolphin, the three toed sloth—and perhaps, if you are very lucky—a sleek, black jaguar. In this glorious Amazon rainforest environment, the Amazon animals are free in their natural habitat to show us their best highlights. Parrots and macaws perch in trees as though posing fuzzy orange and chic black howler monkeys munch on the treetop leaves . . . pre-historic looking iguanas, like mini-dinosaurs, laze in the sun. You will have the chance to watch long-legged cormorants fish for their dinner, and will probably see alligators cooling themselves in the river, and possibly from a safe distance, the legendary boa constrictor.
We Depart from Iquitos for a 3-night Amazon River luxury cruise exploring the Tahuayo River and the Yacapana “Iguana” Islands, Charo Lake fishing and visits into the Amazon jungle to view Amazon monkeys, three-toed sloths and caimans at home in their habitat. Enjoy watching the infamous Amazon pink dolphins at play in the Amazon. Journey to the Amazon’s headwaters and learn from our naturalist guides about the diverse Amazon wildlife in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.
IncludeEntry Fees5 Star AccommodationPersonal GuideAirport TransfersBreakfast
Not IncludedDeparture Taxes
Day 1 (Saturday): Iquitos & Amazon River
- 5pm: Arrival. Your guides await you, as your flight from Lima glides in for landing at Iquitos International Airport. After you’ve claimed your luggage, you will board an air-conditioned bus and transfer to Iquitos’ main wharf. There the Aria lies at anchor. As you settle into your over-sized suite, your vessel will start on its journey toward the Yanayacu River, deep in the heart of Amazonia. Over the next three days, you will also sail along one of the largest tributaries of the Amazon, the Marañón, as well as on the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a spectacular adventure, to a place visited by only a few of even the most experienced world travelers.
- 8pm: Safety Drill and Briefing on the Top Deck Before dinner we will perform a routine safety drill. Following that, your Cruise Director and Guides will give a brief orientation talk about life on board, where you will go and what you will see on your Amazon journey.
- 8:30pm: Welcome Dinner Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the world’s best. Here it is presented with a touch of European flair, and a vegetarian dish is always available. Raise a glass of fine South American wine to toast the beginning of a beautiful journey, then look out the window and watch the river go by as you experience your first wonderful meal aboard the Aria. Perhaps enjoy a nightcap on the Upper Deck, under the stars, before retiring.
Day 2 (Sunday): Amazon, Yanayacu River, Corrientes Lakes & Yarapa River
- 6:30am: Breakfast - Enjoy the first of our generous breakfast buffets, complete with traditional breakfast egg dishes, plus Peruvian specialties and fresh-squeezed juices.
- 8am: Yanayacu River Exploration - This morning you will board your comfortable excursion skiff to begin our first adventure along the Yanayacu (“black water”) River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots and plenty of cold potable water are always available on the skiffs. As we float along this river, we will pass fishermen paddling in their dug-out canoes and will have the chance to see a great variety of wildlife, including terns, orioles, blackbirds, black collared hawks, monkeys, and sloth. Your guides will provide lots of detail about life along the river as we journey past its banks. Upon arrival at Corrientes Lake, you will have the chance to fish for the fearsome, sharp-toothed piranha, highly valued as a food among the local people. As midday approaches, we will begin our return journey.
- 11am: Return to the Aria - The staff will await you with icy towels to help you cool off from your time on the river.
- 1pm: Lunch - Enjoy lighter mid-day fare in our air-conditioned dining room.
- 4pm: Yarapa River Exploration and Night Excursion After time for a siesta, we will board the skiffs again to explore the narrow Yarapa River. Here, in the heart of the rainforest, you are likely to spot squirrel monkeys, herons, egrets, and the unusual horned screamer. As the sun sets, you will become aware of the rich and varied sounds of diurnal creatures marking their territories. As soon as it is dark enough, we will turn the spotlight on to search for night wildlife—nighthawks, frogs, opossums, tarantulas, and caimans are easily spotted along this part of the river.
- 7:30pm: Return to the Aria - The Aria continues to make its way upstream, toward the birthplace of the Amazon River—the dramatic spot where the Ucayali, Marañón, and Amazon River all unite in a rush of water. Sit under the stars on the Upper Deck and sip a pre-dinner pisco sour.
- 8:30pm: Dinner
Day 3 (Monday): Maranon River & Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve
- 6:30am: Breakfast.
- 8:30am: Guided Jungle Walk at Ranger Station No. 1 This morning your Park Ranger will tell you all about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia. You will visit one of the projects, where villagers are planting palms to obtain oil.
- 11am: Return to the Aria
- 12:30pm: Lunch, followed by a siesta.
- 4pm: Monkey and Dolphin Expedition - On this late afternoon expedition, you are likely to see the two different kinds of freshwater dolphins - including the unusual pink ones—found in the Amazon. Later, keep your eyes directed toward the jungle canopy, where you can spot at least several kinds of primates—among the 13 species of monkeys resident in the National Park. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of tamarins and howlers, dusky titi monkeys and pigmy marmoet monkeys. Watch for alligators, and keep your binoculars at the ready, as you are likely to see more than 200 species of birds.
- 6pm: Return to the Aria
- 7:30pm: Dinner
- 8.30pm: Optional Night Excursion - This evening we will take the skiffs out in search of caimans, tree boas, tarantulas, and frogs. After this night adventure, the Aria will start sailing downstream on the Marañón River, toward the headwaters of the Amazon.
Day 4 (Tuesday): Amazon, Puerto Miguel Village & Marayali River
- 5:30am: Birthplace of the Amazon -This morning, the Aria skirts the edges of the vast Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, a flooded forest covering five million acres at the headwaters of the Amazon basin. Rise early and be on your skiffs at 5:30 a.m. to view one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere: the sun rising over the birthplace of the Amazon River. Here—where the union of two major tributaries, the Ucayali and the Marañón, form the world’s greatest waterway—nature is at its most dramatic. Your dawn excursion will be accompanied by abundant bird song, as you glide in small boats past river banks populated by large-billed terns, laughing falcons, gray tanagers, sandpipers, five kinds of parakeets, the exotic short-tailed parrot, and dozens of other birds.
- 7:30am: Breakfast
- 8:30am: Puerto Miguel Village - We will travel by skiff to Puerto Miguel native village, where you can meet and interact with local villagers from this most remote part of the world, and can learn a bit more about their culture, traditions, and folklore. You will also have the chance to trade items for local handicrafts.
- 11am: Return to the Aria.
- 12:30pm: Lunch - Share a last lunch with your fellow passengers.
- 1:30pm: Disembark/Depart for Nauta Board an air-conditioned bus in the historic town of Nauta, for the 1 1/2-hour ride through the Peruvian countryside to the International Airport in Iquitos. Your guides will help you check in and will stay with you until it is time for you to board you flight.